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The Leopold Center is a research and education center on the campus of Iowa State University created to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources. The Center's work is focused in these initiatives - ecological systems research, marketing and food systems research, policy research and cross-cutting research that bridges all areas (water, energy, soil and alternative farming systems).
A beautiful summer day was the backdrop for a tour of the Guthrie farm near Nevada in Story County. This group is standing on a strip of prairie planted last fall that is part of the ISU STRIPS (Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips) project. To keep soil in place and create more biodiversity, the Guthries converted 5.3 acres of a 63-acre field to prairie STRIPS. Each strip is 30 ft. wide, with 120 ft. between the four strips, and require at least three years for establishment. The Guthrie farm is among 22 STRIPS installations throughout Iowa, including five sites that will be compared to similar fields without STRIPS. The tour was part of a one-day meeting for stakeholders in the Iowa State STRIPS research program. The Leopold Center is member of the team and has supported the project with research grants for a number of years. The team answers common questions about this new conservation practice. More about STRIPS and the Center's role. More photos in this Facebook album.